For couples engaged in a homosexual relationship, we understand that the path to becoming a parent can be a difficult one. Between battling numerous prejudices and regulations; searching for the right avenue to pursue in order to become a parent can be quite daunting.
However, everyone should have the right
Luckily in the UK, with the likes of adoption, sperm donation, surrogacy and co-parenting; there are many options available.
Adoption: How to Adopt a Child
Adoption is an extremely popular choice among homosexual couples who wish to raise a child together.
To be successful, each couple must register an application and will receive a review before being authorised by a social worker from the UK’s government appointed, regulatory body the Adoption Agency. Once a successful review has been made, you will then be cleared to complete the adoption process and find a child who needs a home.
Please note that unfortunately legal adoption by a homosexual couple has not yet been legalised in some other countries. However, one parent out of the two may register as the sole guardian, and if successful, will be able to raise their adopted child with their partner.
Sperm Donation: How Does It Work?
Where lesbian relationships are concerned, sperm donation involves the collaboration between a female recipient and a contributing donor in order to conceive a child. A man decides to donate his semen to a woman (or a couple) so that she can inseminate herself and hopefully become pregnant. The insemination can either be performed in a fertility clinic or in the privacy of the home.
Where to find a sperm donor?
Sperm donors in the UK can be found in different places. One option involves going to a licensed fertility clinic or a sperm bank to select a sperm donor via a catalog. In a fertility clinic, the sperm is carefully screened to ensure that it isn’t carrying any genetic abnormalities, infections or sexually transmitted diseases.Another alternative is to opt for a known sperm donor. This can be someone that the couple knows personally, for instance, a relative or a friend.
At CoParents, we enable couples to select their sperm donor online. This solution allows them to have the chance to get to know their donor and to chose whether or not to he will be involved in the child’s life.
Once they’ve selected a donor, couples can either chose to perform the insemination in the comfort of their home or in a licensed fertility clinic.
What are the different treatments available to lesbian couples?
In the UK, sperm donation and fertility treatments to help people have a baby are now available to same-sex couples.
Depending on their situation, a lesbian couple may choose to go through artificial insemination (at home or at a fertility clinic) in order to conceive. If the treatment fails after several attempts, IVF will be suggested as an alternative, using the potential mother’s egg or that of a donor.
Who will be considered as the legal mother?
Same-sex couples who decide to have a child through donor insemination may wonder if they will both be treated as legal parents. This will depend on the nature of their relationship, as well as the insemination process that they opt for.
Lesbian couples who are civil partners at the time of conception and choose to have a child via donor insemination are both automatically considered as the legal parents, whether they choose to perform the insemination in a fertility clinic or at home.
This is the same for non-civil partners who choose to conceive via donor insemination at a fertility clinic. Both will be treated as the legal parents of the child.On the other hand, if couples who aren’t civil partners choose to go through insemination by private arrangement at home, only the woman who gives birth will have parental rights. In order to obtain legal parenthood, the second parent will have to adopt the baby.
Surrogacy: How Does It Work?
Another option for gay parenting is to seek the aid of sperm donation or a surrogate mother.
Surrogacy is generally chosen by those in gay partnerships. It allows them to have a child without being in a relationship with a woman.
This option involves the inclusion of a female third party who will carry a child in her womb and give birth on behalf of the couple. The surrogate mother’s egg can either be fertilised by one partner or the other.
Surrogacy remains fairly rare as it is often difficult to arrange. In the UK, the woman who gives birth automatically becomes the legal mother. However, most parents choose to have exclusive parental rights over the child and prefer the surrogate mother not to be involved in the child’s upbringing. The couple can adopt the child to become the legal parents.
Both surrogacy and sperm donation are becoming increasingly popular overseas, with over a million children being raised by same-sex couples and counting.
What Is Co-parenting?
The fourth and final option is co-parenting. Co-parenting is when two people who are not in a relationship decide to work together to have a baby. This could be a lesbian and a gay man who decide to partner up to have a child. It could also be a lesbian couple and a gay couple who choose to team up, although some partner with straight and bisexual singles or couples. Finally, the co-parenting process may also involve two heterosexuals, a man and a woman, who want to remain single but also would like to have a child.
Whatever the situation, the man (or one of the men, if it’s a gay couple) donates his sperm to enable the female partner to become pregnant.
This is established by an agreement between two separate parties to conceive and raise a child together. Official parental rights will be held by the biological or adopting parents, whereas the partners’ role from each relationship will not be recognised by law. Read our comprehensive guide about co-parenting. To ensure that everyone’s rights and wishes are respected, and that the child’s well-being is assured, it’s important to seek legal advice beforehand. Custody arrangements, financial details, and each partner’s involvement must be discussed first.